If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you already know that the best marine binoculars provide certain features that cannot be replaced by ordinary binoculars, such as being fog and saltwater resistant, ability to float, durability, and high-quality rubber coverage in order to resist harsh sea conditions when needed.
Among many options the market offers, we have taken all those factors and looked at the marine binoculars reviews to work out which ones are the top-rated boat binoculars. So read on and check our buying guide so that you can head out to the water with the best boat binoculars you can get.
How To Choose A Marine Binocular – Buying Guide
The magnification number is a reference to how much further you can see. The presumption is that the higher the number, the better because you will be able to see further into the distance. While that is true, when you’re on a boat you need to think about how stable you’re going to be. If you’re looking through a 10x magnification then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep the image stable enough. When you’re on a boat 5-7x magnification should be more than enough for all your needs.
Bigger lenses let more light, therefore provide sharper images in low light. This is why expensive telescopes have a wide lens. Glass though is heavy, and if you have a large lens then all the weight will be on that side of the binocular. When considering lens size, while you do want a higher figure, you also need to check the weight so that it is not too heavy for you.
If you have binoculars filled with natural air then it will contain oxygen and a small level of water. When you have significant pressure changes in temperature, there is potential for the lens to fog up leaving your binoculars useless. To prevent this, you need to look for binoculars which are nitrogen-purged meaning that they have had their air replaced with nitrogen. This will ensure that your binocular won’t fog up and you’ll be able to use them at all times, without that natural air. In this way, there is no way that the inner workings can succumb to corrosion, either.
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If there is one feature that matters above all others is the marine binoculars’ ability to be waterproof. Best binoculars for sailing have an ‘IPX’ rating that is at least 7. If the number is below that it means the product is not waterproof.
Another aspect you want to consider if you’re going to be in and around the water is whether your binoculars can float or not. Not all the products we have reviewed can float but there are straps you can buy which would ensure that your binoculars could remain buoyant if they went overboard.
Center focus is the ability to look down both lenses and end up with one clear image. This is done by amending the center knob and adjusting it until you have one clear image. There are binoculars that have an individual focus where you can adjust each eyepiece separately. Center focus is generally the preferred method though as it’s easier, especially for objects which are closer to you.
It’s up to you whether you would make any use of a compass or not. Having a compass shouldn’t be a deal-breaker but it is definitely nice to have.
A rangefinder can be very useful in determining the distance of objects. Unlike hunting rangefinders that have a laser to get an instant reading, marine binoculars use a reticle. The reason laser rangefinders aren’t used on the water is due to the larger distances involved. Whether you need a rangefinder or not depends on your intended use for it, if you want to know how far away objects are, then a rangefinder can be very useful.
Field Of View
The field of view relates to the width of the scene before you when you’re looking into the lens. Obviously the wider the field, the better the view. If you’re searching for an object such as a man overboard, then a large field of view can be very useful. If you want to have a sharper focus and look for something specific, then the field of view becomes less important.
Size And Weight
If the binoculars are bigger in size, they are better in focus and lens size. There are also models available that are short and packed with technology. Equally, there are longer binoculars that look longer and more elegant. If you need them for occasional use then having heavier ones might be fine but if you’re going to have them on you all day then you might want to opt for something a little easier to carry.
If you wear glasses, you should be looking for at least 15mm so that you are able to comfortably use the binoculars. A long eye relief though can reduce the field of view so you don’t want to look for it too much if you don’t wear glasses. If you are a regular glasses wearer without any eye conditions, then you would be able to see through the lens even without your glasses on. Good eye relief though will save you from ever having to take them off.
Q: Why are marine binoculars 7x50?
There are three aspects of the 7x50 binoculars, which are generous exit pupil size, conventional magnification, and large objective size. Keeping your binocular’s power around 7x will help with the steadiness of your view while the 50mm objective is perfect for gathering a lot of light especially when entering and departing the port in the early or late hours of the day. Another advantage is the combination of power and objective size, which results in a better view.
Q: What 10x50 means in binoculars?
The first number is the magnification, which means using a 10x50 pair objects will appear ten times closer than with the naked eye. The second number is the size of the objective lens in mm, which are the large lenses at the far end of the binoculars. They help with the poor light conditions by gathering more light.
Q: What is better 7x50 or 10x50 binoculars?
This entirely depends on your needs if you read marine binoculars reviews. Due to its capability to gather light, magnification power, and large exit pupil, 7x50 is the most common sailing binoculars water sports enthusiasts use. Some people also prefer 10x50, which has a stronger magnification power.
Q: Why Do I Need Special Marine Binoculars?
Top rated boat binoculars have a few key features that separate them from regular binoculars.
Fog Protection: Being out on the water makes your pair much more prone to fogging up and becoming useless. The nitrogen-purged binoculars will prevent this while keeping the insides protected from rust.
Waterproof: Another reason is the ability to be waterproof. If you’re going to be on the water then you need a level of water protection for all your devices so that they function well.
Floatable: Accidents happen and if you drop your binoculars for sailing in the ocean, it will be easy to get them back if they float. If you’re using binoculars for hunting or birdwatching, then this feature won’t be required.
Compass and Rangefinder: Some models even feature a compass and a rangefinder. Of course, the compass helps with the navigation while a reticule rangefinder is vital if you’re going to be looking to see the distance of objects while you’re out there on the water.
Q: How Should I Clean Marine Binoculars?
The first thing you want to do is get rid of any of that dust or dirt that might be sitting on the lens. You can either run the lenses underwater or use a lens brush for this step. Once you have done this then it’s simply a case of wiping the lens clear but this should be done with a special lens cloth or any other type of soft cloth. Avoid using your clothing or paper towels as they will be too rough and could scratch the lens.
Q: Where Should I Store My Marine Binoculars?
You just want to make sure that you are storing them in a safe and store place which is ideally dry. There are cases available which you can install anywhere on a boat and have quick access to them while keeping them covered and secure. Always store binoculars with their lens caps on. This will prevent any scratching while they are being stored away and also prevent any build-up of dust or dirt which might make them much harder to clean.
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Whatever the reason you need binoculars, they will be a vital piece of equipment in your adventures. Hopefully, this buying guide has given you all the information you need to find the best marine binocular.
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